Friends of the Nation lends support to Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture

The Friends of the Nation, an environment-oriented non-governmental organization, has supported the call by the sector Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture to end the use of undersized mesh and activities of “Saiko”.

Saiko is a fishing phenomenon where bigger vessels release fishes that were not their preference on the sea to a small boat for onward sale at the shore.

The Practice is considered unconventional and did not fit in the Fisheries regulations, which sought to manage sea stock and encourage bumper harvest.

A Project Manager in the Fisheries Sector with Friends of the Nation, Mr Philip Prah, said that the Saiko industry was reaping the country huge sums of dollars annually, which called for urgent attention.

He said Regulations 14 of the Fisheries Act also prohibited the catching of certain sizes of fish.

“Per the Regulations … every fisherman should not bring down fishes less than 16cm,” he added.

He, therefore, wondered why some communities and individuals should have a banter with the Minister during one of such visits to them.

The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ms Mavis Hawa Koomson was harassed by some fisherfolks and those in the value chain recently in Elmina for making a strong statement against the two practices at sea.

Mr Prah proposed that the government should take charge of the supply of nets to fishermen to curb the use of unproved nets for fishing.

Meanwhile, Mr Michael Abakah, the Secretary to the Canoe Fishermen Council, has called for subsidy on inputs for fishing.

He advised the government to use the close season to properly educate fishing communities on the harmful practices at sea, their implications on human health, marine resources and the economic lives of people.

The sea was opened at the weekend after a month closed season for inshore and canoe fishers to commence their fishing expedition.

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